Asian Markets Fall After Wall Street’s Rally Stumbles

Asian markets mostly fell Wednesday as fears from the four-day Federal Reserve meeting faded.

Eyes were again on trade after the Fed held interest rates steady and chair Jerome Powell said a slowdown in the U.S. economy is due to a few factors, not global or U.S. economic weakness.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.4% to 2,076.01. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.8% to 21,577.72. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3% to 30,315.52 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.5% to 5,903.80.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.6% to 2,858.66.

Investors were wary over concerns that the Fed will further increase interest rates. Higher rates tend to hurt stock prices as they weigh on demand for stocks and bonds.

“Investors are looking past the Fed’s message and remain cautious amid trade jitters,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.5% in London. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.3%. Germany’s DAX rose 0.1%.

U.S. stock indexes finished little changed Tuesday, as the market’s historic rally took a breather. Investors appeared content to let the Fed make the first move toward rising interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 49.05 points, or 0.2%, to 24,303.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.72 points, or 0.2%, to 2,649.94. The Nasdaq composite slipped 12.75 points, or 0.2%, to 7,431.03.

The gains on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were smaller than had been expected, and the Nasdaq index fell back below the 7,400 level. The S&P 500 recently hit its highest closing level in 26 years.

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